The Community Garden of Tomorrow
How the GrowHaus’ "triple-bottom-line" model of people, planet and profit may only be the beginning
The GrowHaus is a 20,000 square-foot greenhouse and community center in the Elyria-Swansea neighborhood that hosts countless programs including: The Hydrofarm, a huge year-round hydroponics facility that produces thousands of heads of leafy greens per month; Seed to Seed, an 8-week summer leadership program for teens; Adult education classes for neighborhood residents centered around community organizing, gardening, cooking, and nutrition; Annual 12-day Permaculture Design Course; and Service Learning workshops for school groups that benefit over 800 students per year. The base of it all for The GrowHaus is that “everyone deserves a healthy meal,” and they do the growing, sharing and educating to prove it. The GrowHaus teaches social justice and conflict resolution. The goal is to break down the barriers of race, class and culture to make society sustainable, too.
Adam Brock’s favorite quote? "Never mistake a clear view for a short distance" as stated by futurist Paul Saffo. Adam’s superpower of choice? The ability to communicate with every species. Plants. Check. Birds. Check. Whales. Hell yes. Lions. Tigers. Bears. Yes. Yes. YES. Adam Brock would talk to everyone and everything. More importantly, he’d listen. When Adam says communicate he really means listen. Adam Brock has traveled the world to learn about sustainability, permaculture and methods by which to ensure the well-being of all life. He has trained alongside the greats. He has dedicated his life to a noble cause. In short, he’s an ecological samurai.
About the Honor
The samurai followed an honor code called Bushido. Roughly translated, it means “way of the warrior,” which is the common understanding, but it can be broken down further to mean the way of one who has learned to keep the peace with or without weapons. See, Bushido is about knowledge, justice, peace, and ethic. Adam Brock has, in his short life, fought for social justice, taught students to embrace their own insights, and formed partnerships for food justice.
For now, Samurai Adam Brock draws his sword for the cause of food justice. He’s the co-founder of The GrowHaus, a non-profit indoor farm and education center. He currently serves as its Director of Operations, overseeing educational programming, community outreach, and strategic partnerships. He also collaborates with numerous sustainability- and social justice-oriented groups across the Front Range, and is a member of Denver's Sustainable Food Policy Council, not that we’re counting.
Through The GrowHaus, Adam works with families in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood to help them take their diets into their own hands. The goal is to pass on the knowledge he and his fellow “samurai” possess. It’s a partnership, and a sort of modern day Bushido for the urban set. Often, Adam’s greatest strength is knowing how to connect his community, simply facilitating its potential. He told us, “I often find that my niche in a group is in being able to see connections between people, ideas, and objects, and understand how to bring them together to be a cohesive whole.”
Through all of his training, all of his gathering of skill, Adam Brock remains humble, community-focused and honorable. In 2011, he told The Huffington Post, “What I really see here is a hub for community development, a place where we support and inspire the neighborhood.” Support. Inspire. These ideas are powerful weapons, and luckily Adam Brock wields them well.